Many Canadians aged 55 and older struggling with monthly expenses: CPA Canada survey

Managing their personal finances is a challenge for a significant number of Canadians, aged 55 and older, according to a national survey conducted for the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada).

TORONTO, November 7, 2014 – Managing their personal finances is a challenge for a significant number of Canadians, aged 55 and older, according to a national survey conducted for the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada).

The survey found that 50 per cent of respondents appear to be meeting their monthly expenses with relative ease. However, one quarter of those surveyed are experiencing some level of difficulty.

Looking ahead, 22 per cent expect their financial situation to improve in ten years, 38 per cent anticipate it will be the same and 31 per cent predict it will deteriorate.

Kelley Keehn, author of CPA Canada’s A Canadian’s Guide to Money-Smart Living, says the good news is that while there are obvious advantages to saving earlier, it is never too late to make financial gains. With the expenses of child-rearing and the bulk of mortgages managed, Keehn says, “many individuals don’t really start to save aggressively until their 50s and older.”

Survey respondents were asked what they would have done differently to prepare for their retirement years. Saving more money was the top response cited by just under half (46 per cent) of the participants.

“With experience comes wisdom so it is no surprise that many respondents wished they had saved more,” says Cairine Wilson, vice-president, corporate citizenship, CPA Canada.

A majority of the respondents (60 per cent) expect their savings and income to be sufficient to last the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, just under a third (30 per cent) of those surveyed are not as optimistic.

The survey participants also were asked about the types of fraud that they are most concerned about. Identity theft, credit card fraud and debit card fraud are the three primary concerns identified.

“Our organization conducts ongoing research to take the pulse of Canadians on financial-related matters,” explains Wilson. “The information collected helps us determine ways that we can continue to help Canadians learn more about managing their personal finances.”

Earlier this year, CPA Canada received international recognition from the Institute for Financial Literacy, based in the United States. CPA Canada became the first non-U.S. entity to be named Organization of the Year in the non-profit sector by the Institute.


The telephone survey involving 1,022 Canadians, aged 55 and above, was conducted by Nielsen between August 21 and September 2, 2014. The data is weighted to replicate the actual population distribution by age and sex within region according to the 2011 Census data. Results are considered accurate to within ±3.1 per cent of the population, 19 times out of 20. A summary document is available online at

About CPA Canada

Canada’s accounting profession is uniting under a new single designation, Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA). The profession’s national body, Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada), represents and supports more than 190,000 members across the country. CPAs are valued for their financial and tax expertise, strategic thinking, business insight, management skills and leadership. CPA Canada has consolidated the operations of three national accounting bodies: The Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants, the Certified General Accountants of Canada and The Society of Management Accountants of Canada. CPA Canada conducts research into current and emerging business issues and supports the setting of accounting, auditing and assurance standards for business, not-for-profit organizations and government. It also issues guidance on control and governance, publishes professional literature and develops certification and continuing education programs.

For more information, contact:
Tobin Lambie, principal
CPA Canada
(416) 204-3228


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